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Home Improvements Make A Big Difference!!!

by Mike Parker

Submitted by Jill Kuchle:

Many times people think by having a swimming pool or other "luxury" items inside their home, it will get them more money for their home.  Not necessarily!  A swimming pool or a built-in spa may not cause a home to sell for any additional money.  In lower price ranges, it may even hurt the sale of the home.  As the price goes up, more of the cost may be recovered but as a rough rule of thumb, you can generally only expect to get half of what the pool cost. 
 
More examples of items that don't increase value include wool or other high
quality carpeting.  Oak paneling compared to ash paneling, solid brass plumbing fixtures, and slate or aluminum roofs.  Reason being, the new buyer expects the quality to be good but will not usually pay for the top of the line.  On the other hand, there are some improvements that can cause the home to sell for more money and should be considered by homeowners especially
when updating is appropriate. 
 
 Kitchens and bathrooms will date a home quicker than anything. An updated kitchen with new appliances, counter tops and attractive cabinets will make buyers get excited and can make the difference when deciding between two homes.  A tremendous change can be made in a
bathroom by adding new light fixtures, new mirrors, and neutral paint  to
complement the colors featured in the type of flooring you have.  Don't expect a buyer to have the imagination to be able to see what your home will look like if they replace the carpet, paint, or add new appliances.  Take the time and spend the money to make these improvements before you put your home on the market. It will sell quicker and for more money than if you give the buyer an "allowance".
 
For more advice on making home improvements to sell your home quickly, contact The Team today  at 859-647-0700 or email Mike at mike@mikeparker.com .

The Northern Kentucky Real Estate Market..What Can I Expect??

by Mike Parker
Fall is here and that should be good for the real estate market for a couple of reasons.  First, July and August are always slower than most of the year.  I call it a roller-coaster season.  You have people trying to get vacation in before school starts and then when school starts, the market (in a normal market) does not pick back up until usually 7 - 10 days AFTER Labor Day.  The second reason is the media has slowed down on chewing on the mortgage business all over the front pages of our newspapers and the TV.  This tends to scare a lot of people off.  I guess one of the advantages of bing in the real estate business for over 20 years is that you know when the market goes up and down.
 
The past 18 months have not been anything like a normal market.  I do not see our market for the next 9 months, improving.  I actually see it still staying like ti is now, maybe sliding even a little back-wards.  Look for prices to pretty much stay where they are.  I do not see any appreciation in the next 9 months.
 
The rate change has been good but it is going to take more than that to get the buyers out.  Our inventory is about 10% to 15% higher than normal, but we have 40% to 50% less buyers in the market.  That is why you are seeing longer days on the market.  Look for it to continue.
 
Here is pretty good advice.  If you are going to sell your home, price it right for the get go - AT MARKET VALUE!!  Don't give yourself room for negotiating - there is no room for that in this current market.
 
There are five things that sell real estate:
1.  Price
2.  Location
3.  Condition
4.  Terms
5.  Agent you select
 
Price and condition are HUGE in a market like this.  You have to be priced at fair market value or below, and your condition must be in TOP NOTCH- your home has to shine!!!  The front door area and walking up to the home as to be in TOP FORM!  The home has to be exceptionally clean and roomy, not too much furniture and not a bunch or toys or things laying out across the room!  Price and Condition are EVERYTHING in this market!!
 
MARKET FORECAST
 
Look for our market to stay soft, the underwriters for the mortgage companies have tightened the loop buyers have to jump through and have made it a lot tougher to get a loan.  We will see 20% to 30 % more rejections from the mortgage companies.  You will see less people applying for loans because they are scared of the process.  You can still get a 100% loan, but the cost of that loan is high and you have to have a 700 plus credit score to get it.  A lot of people just don't have that good enough of a credit score.
 
Our traffic will remain lighter than normal, it will be better than it was in July and August but lighter than the last 3 or 4 years.  If you have your home for sale or are thinking about putting your home up for sale, work on the condition and work on the price. 
 
Here is the BRIGHT side of our market.  There has NEVER been a better time to buy a home than now!!  You might be getting less for your home today, but you are saving more money buying your next home because that seller is in the same boat you are.  Builders are giving HUGE incentives to build so you can get great buys there too!! 
 
The market is what the market is.  The Northern Kentucky real estate market has run strong for the last ten years.  We did not see the appreciation that the rest of the country saw, but we did well.  Look for the next two to three years to be steady at best.
 
For any comments or questions feel free to contact at mike@mikeparker.com

Renting VS. Buying....The Pro's and Con's!!

by Mike Parker

Submitted by Jill Kuchle:

Can't decide whether to buy or to rent???  Maybe this can help you make that decision!! 

BUYING

* You will have a GREAT tax write off.

* Your housing expense may never go up

* You can use, decorate, make physical changes to, and ENJOY your home as YOU see fit!

* You may increase your equity as your home appreciates in value.

* You are not at the mercy of your landlord.

* Your house will become "home," not a temporary living situation.

RENTING

* You will have NO tax write off.

* Your rent can go up each year, typically four to ten percent.

* You must get permission from your landlord to make ANY changes to your home.

* You have no equity built up - your money is gone for good.

* You can be evicted, lose your security deposit (attention pet owners!!!) and more!!!

* Your living situation is always temporary!!

Most people buy homes to have control over where they live.  Although investment features are important, the satisfaction of owning your own home and freedom from paying rent are VERY important as well!! 

In a survey done by the National Association of REALTORS of 6,000 homeowners and 2,000 renters - perhaps the largest ever of attitudes toward home ownership - showed that 76% of owners and 66% of renters considered pride of ownership a very important reason for buying.

Almost equal portions of owners and renters - close to 7 out of 10 - said a dislike of paying rent was an important reason to buy.  Sure renting offers a lifestyle that's nearly maintenance free, but writing a rent check is also like watching your hard earn money sail off into the sunset!!!

Believe me, sacrifices are WORTH it.....almost 7 in 10 renters in the National Association of REALTORS home ownership survey said they planned to buy a home in the future.  More than 3/4 of these people said they were willing to sacrifice to do that. 

Check out the chart below to see how the cost of renting based on a 6% rental increase each year can add up....

 
$300 per month for rent today You’ll Pay
$350 per month for rent today You’ll Pay
$400 per month for rent today You’ll Pay
$450 per month for rent today You’ll Pay
$500 per month for rent today You’ll Pay
$600 per month for rent today You’ll Pay
$700 per month for rent today You’ll Pay
This Year
$3,600
$4,200
$4,800
$5,400
$6,000
$7,200
$8,400
Next Year
$3,816
$4,452
$5,088
$5,724
$6,360
$7,632
$8,904
3rd Year
$4,045
$4,719
$5,393
$6,067
$6,742
$8,088
$9,438
4th Year
$4,288
$5,002
$5,717
$6,431
$7,147
$8,575
$10,005
5th Year
$4,545
$5,302
$6,060
$6,817
$7,576
$9,054
$10,605
6th Year
$4,818
$5,620
$6,424
$7,226
$8,031
$9,635
$11,241
7th Year
$5,107
$5,957
$6,809
$7,660
$8,513
$10,210
$11,916
8th Year
$5,413
$6,314
$7,218
$8,120
$9,023
$10,824
$12,630
9th Year
$5,738
$6,693
$7,651
$9,023
$9,564
$11,472
$13,388
10th Year
$6,082
$7,095
$8,110
$9,564
$10,138
$12,164
$14,192
TOTAL
$47,452
$55,354
$63,272
$71,175
$79,094
$94,856
$110,719

So let's get started on the purchase of your new home!!  Contact us if you would like to receive lisitngs as they hit the market via email or check out a hassle free website www.nkyhomesbyemail.com.

How Much Can I Spend on a New Home?????

by Mike Parker

Submitted by Jill Kuchle:

You might have an idea of the loan payment and mortgage you can afford. But how will the bank feel?   It's always best to get pre-qualifed for a mortgage so you know exactly how much a bank or other financial institution would be willing to lend you.   And it will let you look at homes that are definately within your price range!!  This way, there will be no disapointments!!!

In the pre-qualification process, you will find out: 

- Exactly how much home or land you can afford. 

- How much cash you will need for the down payment. 

- The minimum down payment, and advantages of higher down payments. 

- What the bank feels you can afford for a monthly payment. 

We have a terrific lender who can help you will all your residential mortage needs.  Just contact our office today for more information.  859-647-0700.

DO YOU KNOW ABOUT OUR MOVING VAN????

After almost four years our free moving van has been a HUGE hit with far more interest than we ever imagined.  More and more of our clients are using the van in their HOA (home owners association) events, or moving chairs for a school PTA event or even for church raffles.  Did you know we make it available FREE for these purposes?  If you have a charitable non-profit event coming up and need to move stuff, moving yourself, or give use of the van away in a raffle, contact us today and book the van out.  It's all a part of supporting the community that has been so good to us.

Please don't forget it's also yours to use when you need to pick up that new antique chest of drawers you found at the neighborhood estate sale, or maybe helping the lady next door move into her new condo!!

Call us to schedule the van, it is of course always subject to prior reservation, and please note you must be 21 years old with a valid license and insurance, and the truck cannot go more than 50 miles from Florence.  Other terms and conditions apply to satisfy our insurance agent, but please it's there to be used! 

 

How Do I Get My House Ready To Sell?????

by Mike Parker

Submitted by Jill Kuchle:

You just found out your company is re-locating you or you have decided up downsize or maybe your family has outgrown your current home, whatever your situation, it's time to put your house on the market - now the main question that is on your mind is, "How do I get my house ready to sell???"

Look no further....these few steps will help you get your house in tip top shape AND get you the offer you want!!

  • Open the curatins and let the sun in - nothing makes a house look better than good ol natural light!!
  • Install high wattage light bulbs.
  • Remove ALL clutter from each room - including many personal items such as photos!
  • If you have a fireplace, highlight it.
  • Keep your home dusted and vacuummed at ALL times.
  • Ktichens and bathrooms should always be kept SPOTLESS.  If you don't hardly use it - pack it away!!
  • Expand your counter space by removing small appliances.
  • If your carpet doesn't clean up well, REPLACE IT!!!
  • Put away family photos until your home is under contract.
  • Make sure the Front Door Bell works.
  • Invest in a new door mats.
  • Make sure the front door works effortlessly!
  • Regardless of the season, tackle spring cleaning.
  • CLEAN EVERYTHING in your home from top to bottom!!
  • Wash ALL windows INSIDE and OUT.
  • Repair any holes resulting from nails or other mishaps.
  • Freshly paing all inside walls.
  • Repair or replace broken tiles on walls, floors or in showers/tubs.
  • Repair or replace loose wall paper.
  • If the basement shows any signs of water or structural damange it may be necessary to obtain a structural engineer's report.
  • Water and prune ALL plants (both inside and out!!)
  • Remove any excess extension cords and exposed wires.

If you have any other questions concerning getting your home ready to sell.  Feel free to contact us and we can get you ready to sell quick!!!

 

Selling Your Home When You Own Pets!!!

by Mike Parker

Submitted by Jill Kuchle:

Many real estate agents are animal lovers and have pets of their own, but we have all shared stories of having our fingers or ankles nipped by furry creatures during a showing. We have opened the front door to the home we are showing only to have a purebred Persian kitten or Golden Retriever dart out the door toward the nearest busy street.   (And trust me, that is not fun...)

If you have pets and are going to put your house on the market, be sure to work out the showing arrangements carefully. It is important for Real Estate agents  to be able to communicate to our colleagues what to expect when they pass through your front door. It is rare for pets to pose significant problems, but big dogs can be menacing. Buyers or agents may be allergic or even a little phobic (or a lot phobic) about dogs or cats! 

It is difficult to get a buyer excited about your home if he or she is sneezing continuously or unwilling to cross the threshold because your dog is barking away intruders.  (Trust us on this one!!)  If your agent knows there might be a problem, they can arrange ahead of time for you to walk the dog, vacuum the cat dander or do whatever is necessary to make sure that the showing goes smoothly.  Not only will it make you feel better but it will also let the potential buyer know you take great pride in your home! 

I am a complete animal lover and have a dog and cat of my own but I know first hand the trouble alergies and smells can pose.  If you have any questions about how to sell your house with pets inside, just ask The Team for some friendly advice!!! 

The Boone County Fair is Set to Begin!!!

by Mike Parker

Submitted by Jill Kuchle:

It's August, it's hot and it's time again for the Boone County Fair!!!  If you are like me, there is nothing like a nice juicy ear of corn, some good ol fashioned country ham, and the demolition derby to make for a fun evening out with the family!!  The Boone County Fair is ready to start and includes LOADS for everyone to check out.

Located at the Boone County Fairgrounds on Idlewild Road, in Burlington, the fair runs from August 6 - 11 this year.  (However there is a tractor pull on Aug. 4th in the evening!!)  If you live in Boone County, enter your kids in the baby show or Little Mr. and Miss Boone County, or other various pagents for the older kids.  The fun doesn't stop there though - this year everything from the 4-H animal shows, horse pulling, tractor pulls, hot dog eating contests, bubble gum blowing contests, frog jumping, rides, food, demolition derbies and much, much more will excite just about everyone in the entire family.  I know my neices and nephews work hard all spring to get their sheep and cows ready for the fair.  It is a great place to take the younger kids too and show them all the animals - especially if they don't live on a farm.  4-H is also a wonderful program to get the kids invloved in.  It teaches them how to care for their animals, pride of ownership, responsibility and can even earn them a little cold hard cash!!!  (and everyone loves that!!)

This year we plan on going to watch the tractor pulls, the demolition derby, the animal shows and maybe enter my son in the 2 Year Old Baby Contest (we'll see though......).

Admission to the fair is $7 per person for ages 3 and older and includes parking and most of the rides

We hope to see ya'll there!!!  For more information on the Boone County Fair visit their website at www.boonecountyfair.org!!!

 

Submitted by Jill Kuchle:

Real estate is a complicated business.  There are a bazillion little details that must be handled on a timely basis in order to provide the quality of Service that YOU deserve!!!  The Team's professional input will help prepare your home for sale or they will "search th world over" for your dream home!!!  The Mike Parker Team has developed their own marketing and servicing team to insure that you, their client receives memorable real estate service!!   NOT just satisfactory but TRULY MEMORABLE!!!

Buying a home is certainly one of the most reward-able experiences most of us can ever have; it is also very hectic and can be very challenging.  If you're buying for the first time, the process may seem very overwhelming  And even if you've been through it several times, you know, every move is different, and each present it's own set of new challenges.  SO, one clear advantage of calling on the Mike Parker Team for help is simply that you don't have to "go it alone!!"  Mike and his staff have the training, the know how, and the experience (over 50 years!!) to help you and your family through each step of the buying process, and make the process of finding, buying, and moving into your new home as smooth, quick, and enjoyable as it can be.  Another advantage is that The Mike Parker Team represents a valuable source if information about market trends, communities and neighborhoods, and especially, homes for sale throughout the area. 

In addition, The Mike Parker Team employs the team approach with a competent team of professionals to ensure a smooth process every step of the way....all the way to your new home!!

The Future of Union, KY is about to arrive!!!

by Mike Parker

Submitted by Jill Kuchle:

A community of nearly 800 homes and apartments featuring planning concepts and residential designs new to Northern Kentucky will be built in the heart of Union. 

Harmony will be a community unlike an other.  It will be a place to live and a place to gather and play.   The streets will be lined with trees, porches made for interaction, and the neighborhoods are unique and have a style all their own.  Harmony has been designed with nostalgia in mind, drawing upon the history found in early neighborhoods.  Abundant parks, nature areas, a lake, a community center, walking paths, bike paths, three pools, an exercise facility and an amphitheater for community concerts will dot the landscape offering a small-town setting that will be reminiscent of yesteryear.

Drees Homes, building the community will feature patio homes, starter homes, more expensive homes, and apartments.  Homes will sell for $108,000 to $250,000.  The plan has 160 freestanding single-family homes and 340 single-family attached homes along with 272 apartments.

WHAT'S HAPPENING IN HARMONY?!

Outdoor Movie Night: Saturday, August 11 (7-10pm)

An old-fashioned family night, with a family film under the stars in Harmony's large activity park - Harmony Green.  The movie begins at dusk.  Bring your lawn chairs, your blankets, and enjoy!!  Beverages and snacks will be provided!!  Everyone is welcome to attend!!

A Taste of Union: Saturday, September 22 (3-7pm)

At 3 p.m. Harmony will come alive as Drees and Marquis Homes kicks off it's first "Taste of Union!"  The festival will feature local and regional restaurants, live music, games and fun for the whole family.  Try out the rock climbing wall, or just jive to the live music.

Fall Fest: Saturday, October 27 (3-7om)

For an afternoon of autumn treats.....bring your whole family down!!  Enjoy pumpkin painting, hayrides, hot chocolate and apple cider, story tellers and MORE!!! 

Directions:  I-75/71 to Florence/Union exit.  Go west on US 42. Continue 3.5 miles to the entrance

 

 

Submitted by Jill Kuchle:

Wondering what to do this weekend?  Well get ready for barrels of fun.  This weekend is packed with paddlefests, baseball games, arena football, movies, music and more.  Check out the list below to pack your weekend full of fun!!!

The 6th Annual is going on this weekend.  Celebrate and promote the beauty of the Ohio River by participating.  Check out http://www.ohioriverway.org/paddlefest/events/ for loads of information.

The Kentucky Sympony Orchestra kicks off is summer season at Devou Park with "Country vs. Disco".  Admission is free but a donation would be welcomed!!  The concert begins at 7:30 on Saturday night.  Check out www.kyso.org/index.html for more information.

It's a roar by the shore....the Ohio River shore that is, when the Jungle Kats take on Manchester at US Bank arena on the 7th at 7:30 pm.  For ticket information contact http://junglekatsfootball.com.

It will be music to your ears when the presents : Music from Dreamgirls with Jennifer Holiday and Bootsy Collins on Saturday night at 8 pm at Riverbend Music Center.  For ticket information contact www.cincinnatisymphony.org.

Check out America's favorite pastime when the and Florence Freedom take the field this weekend.  The Reds are hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks and thier schedule is as follows:

July 6 vs Arizona -- 7:10pm ET.
July 7 vs Arizona -- 7:10pm ET.
July 8 vs Arizona -- 1:15pm ET.

Check out www.cinnatireds.com for more information.

The Florence Freedem (www.florencefreedom.com) take on two regional teams and thier schedule is as follows:

7/6:vs Evansville, at 7:05pm
7/7:vs Southern IL, at 6:05pm
7/8:vs Southern IL, at 6:05pm

Don't forget to bring your gloves!!!

Get outside and see all the world animals at the Cincinnati Zoo!!  Cincinnati Zoo's new Cheetah Encounter features a 100-yard run which allows visitors to witness four of the world's fastest land animals running at top speed (Friday-Tuesday 11:30am & 12:30pm)!

Other special summer additions include a new Great American Wings of Wonder Bird Show (Wed-Sun 1pm & 3pm) and expanded Meet-A-Zookeeper, behind-the-scenes opportunities for visitors to meet and talk with the keepers of the elephants, penguins, manatee, wolves and more (daily throughout the Zoo from 10am-3pm).  Check out www.cincinnatizoo.org for more details.

Strap on your hiking boots and get ready to climb the Alps.....A new OMNIMAX film.

Follow one man’s triumphant journey and personal quest to make peace with a mountain that took the life of his father 40 years earlier.  John Harlin III takes on the world’s most difficult rock climb, the North Face of the Eiger, located in the Alps of Switzerland. The Alps film captures incredible images and film shots from the side of the mountain, giving us a sense of what it’s like to climb side by side with mountaineers. This film also reveals the lifestyle and culture of the Alpine locale and how the mountains and slopes have helped to shape their way of living.

Tickets are $7.25 adults, $5.25 children and $6.25 seniors. Group discounts are available. contact www.cincymuseum.org for more information.....

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Photo of Mike Parker - CRS Real Estate
Mike Parker - CRS
HUFF Realty
60 Cavalier Blvd.
Florence KY 41042
859-647-0700
859-486-3300